Brothers and sisters, for those of us in Christ, God doesn’t show us patience based on our behavior – patience is simply who He is. After Moses completed the 2nd set of stone tablets like the first (we all know what happened to the first set), in Exodus 34:6 God said to Moses on Mt. Sinai, “I am the Lord God. I am merciful and very patient with my people.” By offering us His patience, He offers us Himself. We don’t “deserve” patience and we certainly can’t earn it. Like love, God freely gives us patience because He will never cease to be who He is. And get this: because God’s nature is immutable, He was and is and always will be patient with us. Hence, one of the many reasons the writer of Hebrews 13:8 wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Peter, of all people, would know God’s patience (the same Apostle that denied Jesus not once, three times): The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). A couple of verses later, Peter straight up says, “our Lord’s patience means salvation [or, redemption]” (2 Peter 3:15).
As I sit back and reflect on His patience toward me – toward us – I remember He is still patiently waiting for others. This journey of experiencing God’s patience isn’t solely for ourselves or to “learn a lesson.” Though He does show us because He loves us – of course! And also: our God has missional purposes in the glory He reveals. When we receive God’s patience, it causes a longing in our hearts to share what He mercifully extended to us with others. It compels us to extend His patience with everyone who crosses our path. We know His patience is imperative not only for our redemption story (walk) but for everyone we walk with in our lives!